Shoreline Takes IP Telephony Up A Notch

The company's upgrade, Shoreline4.3, integrates a new softphone that enables users to make and receive calls from their PCs or laptops over a remote VPN connection as if they were in the office.

Combined with the system's ability to detect the presence and availability of its users, the new ShorePhone SP 100 softphone can help remote workers stay connected and accessible to other employees, said Ed Basart, CTO and founder of Shoreline, Sunnyvale, Calif.

"[Colleagues] can see if you're on the phone or not, and the softphone just looks like another end point," Basart said.

The upgrade also adds a new "find me" feature that gives users the ability to automatically route their incoming calls to a different phone, such as a cell phone, hotel phone or extension in another office.

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With the new release, Shoreline is also introducing its first contact center software for more than 20 agents, a product solution providers say will enable Shoreline to be more competitive with other vendors.

"The Shoreline system comes with basic call-center features that let you set

people up in workgroups, but it's not quite robust enough for some customers," said Scott Strochack, president of solution provider Xtelesis, Burlingame, Calif. "This will certainly put Shoreline on a level playing field with everyone else out there."

The new application comes in two flavors: Contact Center, which handles inbound voice calls only and is targeted at call centers with 10 to 40 agents; and Enterprise Contact Center, for larger call centers that want to integrate chat and e-mail communications as well as voice.

The offerings include skills-based routing capabilities, interactive voice-response scripting, reporting tools and supervisor tools that enable realtime monitoring of agents.

When designing the new products, Shoreline kept its channel partners' needs in mind, Basart said. "If our channel partners don't like [the product line], we're going to flop."

Available now, Shoreline4.3 carries an approximate price of $800 per user. Shoreline's new contact center applications are scheduled for availability in January. Pricing for Contact Center is $500 per agent, while Enterprise Contact Center is priced at $1,500 per agent.